- Audio CD (April 6 1999)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Atlantic
- ASIN: B00000IFW2
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
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Havana Cafe Import
Barbarito Torres played as a guest instrumentalist on Buena Vista Social Club and A Toda Cuba Le Gusta before gathering together Cuba's premier musicians and recording this amazing debut. A sensual mix of Cuban son, danzon, and guaracha, Havana Cafe makes austere use of instrumentation, using only the laud (Cuban lute), guitar, percussion, and vocals to create a wall of wonderfully spirited music. "Hijo del Siboney" rings in the collection with bright melodies and vibrant guitars before the set goes on to boast gem after gem of traditional and contemporary Cuban music. Singer Pio Leyva lends his brassy bellow to two tracks, adding an authentic dimension that's refreshingly void of pretension and characteristic of this playful, joyous album. Singer Ibrahim Ferrer also appears in all of his romantic glory. It's rare when the "in the moment" chemistry of musicians collaborating is captured on disc, but with Havana Cafe, the chemistry is thankfully captured forever. --Karen Karleski
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I would think twice before buying this album. You may, after listening to it for God knows how many times, be overcome, as I was, by an irresistable desire to fly south to some nondescript cafe in some tropical clime. Very, very dangerous music. Cuidado, mi amigo!
FYI, dear listeners, a timeline of Cuban music, explaining guaracha, son, bolero, danzon, etc., [...]
If you have older Cuban Family Members 60+, do yourself a favor and play this if you want to see them smile and reminise.
Play the 4th Cut, my fav, "Hijo Del Siboney" The whole album is timeless.
I just had to purchase another copy when it became available because it was unavailable everywhere. Get this jewel while you can.
I, too, came to know of Barbarito Torres via the original Buena Vista Social Club CD and DVD (both of which I HIGHLY recommend).
I should mention that Ibrahim Ferrer, my particular favorite among the BVSC crowd, also makes a guest appearance on this album. There is an emotional force behind his gentle voice that is difficult to define or describe, and that lends a very MOVING quality to his vocal interpretations.
This CD is enormously enjoyable listening, and one of my favorites among the 20 or so CD's that I now have by artists connected with the phenomenon known as Buena Vista Social Club.
If you are unfamiliar with this music, do yourself a favor and BECOME familiar with it. If you love powerful music, then you, too, will be hooked. And you will comprehend the enormous pride that Cubans have in their unique musical heritage. It IS unique, and enjoyable beyond mere verbal description.
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